BSA Troop # 2

ABOUT TROOP 2: OUR HISTORY

Our Troop was founded in 1916. We currently have about 35 scouts organized in the Patrol Method.  We meet each Monday night at 7:30 pm that school is in session at the B'nai Shalom Synagoge, 300 Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange, NJ.  All boys aged 11-18 are welcome to join!

In January 1916, a group of seven boys were registered in The Boy Scouts of America. They were sponsored by the Men’s Guild of the First Methodist Church at High and Ridge. The Rev. Karl K. Quimby was their Scoutmaster and together they promised to do their duty to God and country, to help other people, to keep physically strong, morally straight and mentally awake. This was the inception of Boy Scout Troop 2, West Orange and the beginning of an 95 year tradition of scouting excellence.

Troop 2 has seen many changes since 1916. the troop held their meetings at the First Methodist Church, the West Orange Community House, Washington Street School and Patterson Memorial Presbyterian Church, and Pleasantdale Presbyterian Church.  We now meet at B'nai Shalom Synagoge.

The Scout program itself has also changed. Originally, it was geared for outdoor activities and nature study whereas today it encompasses a much broader range of interests. Today’s emphasis focuses more on technology and less on rural related skills.  All boys are welcome to join our program!

A major factor in the longevity and success of Troop 2 has been the dedication and commitment of its adult leadership. Beginning with Rev. Karl Quimby’s initial commitment to work with seven boys to form a troop, our greatest assets have been our Scoutmasters.

However, the role filled by William K Rust during the Second World War may be the most pivotal in the troop’s history. With the war taking so many young men away from the town, there were almost none left with which to operate a Boy Scout troop. Bill, almost single-handedly, kept Troop 2 active and alive during this sad period in world history. Without him, Troop 2 could well have passed into oblivion.

Over the years, many men have served on the Troop Committee. During the 1950’s through the 1980’s, Bill Hoch, Ed Gilhooley, Ron Panuska, Allan Hay, Ron Reister, Al Michael, Jim Michael, Walter Veitch, Elmer Nicholls, Bill Mathern, Joe White, George Perry, Jack Albrecht, Joe Johnson, John White, Ralph Cowley, Joe Mavda, Ray Cowley and Ozzie Thorne have all been actively involved. The Troop Committee that guided Troop 2 through the 1990s into the new millenium consisted of: Chairman Ron Panuska, Ron Reister, Jim Michael, Doug Perry, Scott Perry, Don Mettler, Ernie Stansfeld, Bill White, Butch Melhorn, and Dale Cowley.   New parents have joined us and the Committee is now chaired by Vincent Gonnella.
 
Along with Scoutleaders and assistant scoutleaders Brian Olin, Sean Cowley Jack Michael and Michael Cowley all four Eagle Scouts when they were youths in the troop.  Mr. Tim Brennan now serves as Scoutmaster, and is assisted by Jack Dean, Nicole Devita, Sheldon Senek, and Courtney Smith.   Collectively, all these men have been responsible for carrying out the scouting program involving approximately 1,750 boys over the years. Troop 2 has had more than 60 boys achieve the rank of Eagle Scout since 1916.

Jim Michael has amassed the longest current tenure with Troop 2. His time in the troop began as a scout in 1956, obtaining the rank of Star Scout in 1959 and is presently a Committee Member and Treasurer. Ron Panuska as over 50 years of service, and was serving as Committee Chairman for 20 years. Both men are still involved in the Scouting program.


A large factor in the success of Troop 2 over the years has been the credo “Scouting is Outing”. The "Patrol Leaders Council" of the senior scouts plan monthly short-term camping trips and at least one week of summer camping as a troop at Camp Turrell in the Catskill region of New York .  We have also include a high-adventure week each summer such as canoe treks through the lakes of the Adirondack Mountain areas, or to the National BSA Jamborees.

Troop 2 has visited areas such as Camp Taylor, West Orange; Teevans Grove, Livingston; Budd Lake Camp site, Camp Ken-etiwa-pec, Stokes State Forest, 4-H Camp, and Lou Henry Hoover Camp, all in Sussex Country and the Pine Barrens in South Jersey.  Other trips enjoyed by the boys include overnight bike hikes and canoe trips on the Upper Delaware River, the Ramapo River, in Bergen and Passaic Counties, Wadding River in Wharton State Forest. White Water rafting on the Leghigh River, Pa. Ski trips and week-long trips of sightseeing to Washington, DC.

In addition to the fun of camping and outings, Troop 2 has a long history of service to the community. Some of the projects engaged in by the troop over the years include: the sale of war bonds during World War I, the cultivation of Victory Gardens, the collection of scrap metals during World Wars I & II, the distribution of informational tracts such as air raid posters and get out to vote, assisting the Board of Health on all three Sabin Oral Sundays, principal founders of the West Orange First Aid Squad, collecting newspapers before recycling was popular and, the latest, "Scouting for Food," the collection of food for the needy.

For their active participation and achievements, Troop 2 has won distinguished recognition and awards including: The President Roosevelt Award in 1934, permanent possession of the Klondike Derby trophy in 1962, numerous first prize awards at camporees, distinguished troop awards at summer camp for the past several years and represented the Orange Mountain Council at the New York Worlds Fair. Every year at summer camp we have won the Troop Excellence Award.

Troop 2, over the years, has been represented at National Jamborees held every four years, and on two occasions, has had a representative at World Jamborees in Australia and Sweden. Many boys and adults have taken an active role in the Order of the Arrow, an organization within scouting to promote camping and summer camp.

In the years since the inception of Troop 2, many boys have had the opportunity to join the troop and work their way through the ranks. What they experienced and learned helped to mold them into responsible adults who continue to uphold the ideals of scouting in their present occupations: Engineers, Lawyers, Teachers, Doctors-DDS, DVM, Law Enforcement – Local Police, Country and Federal – firemen, Township Mayors, Churchmen, careers with the US military, Merchant Marine, U.S. Postal Service, Financial, Insurance, Sales and all areas of self employment.

Throughout times of war and peace Troop 2 has offered boys moral training and preparation for the trials and tests of life. For many years the dedication of many people have helped our town and improved the people within it. Troop 2 has served the community and our country well.